I am very fortunate to be a part of a committee for an organization that honors veterans.  This organization takes veterans on once in a lifetime hunting trips, while providing the wives a few days of greatly deserved pampering.  Because our local fund raising banquet is this week, these families have been at the fore front of my mind.  While we would like to think we know what it takes to be a member of a military family, I don't think we fully understand unless we're living it.  Recently I read Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros.  This is fantastic military story about those that are left behind when tragedy strikes and how a family must learn to cope without a father.  Rebecca wrote this amazing story full of emotion that provides us with a small glimpse into the life of a military family.  A family that is experiencing tragedy and heartbreak.   A family experiencing the 5 stages of grief and how each family member reacts to grief differently than the others.  I'm not going to lie, I cried like a baby during parts of this story, but I finished the book with such a strong sense of awe and appreciation of the strength of military families and a greater commitment to offer support.  Here is the blurb:

19383432Three knocks can change everything…

"She knew. That’s why Mom hadn’t opened the door. She knew he was dead."

Twenty years as an army brat and Ember Howard knew, too. The soldiers at the door meant her dad was never coming home. What she didn’t know was how she would find the strength to singlehandedly care for her crumbling family when her mom falls apart. 

Then Josh Walker enters her life. Hockey star, her new next-door neighbor, and not to mention the most delicious hands that insist on saving her over and over again. He has a way of erasing the pain with a single look, a single touch. As much as she wants to turn off her feelings and endure the heartache on her own, she can’t deny their intense attraction.

Until Josh’s secret shatters their world. And Ember must decide if he’s worth the risk that comes with loving a man who could strip her bare.

For those who like to know, the"steamy-ness" level is high, but tasteful.

I HIGHLY recommend this book.  Please don't be afraid of the emotions.  While this story does have those sad moments, you will also experience first love and the type of love that is strong enough to hold a family together. 
I truly don't believe it's only how we respond to tragedy that defines us. I think it's how we live after, and how well we honor the memories of before, that show our true strength and character.  

Follow Rebecca Yarros on Twitter: @RebeccaYarros

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